A DUTCH-born councillor subjected to online insults on her nationality by a Tory rival has spoken out after Conservative politicians quit Twitter en masse.

Tories on North Ayrshire Council (NAC) agreed the move on Monday following embarrassing rows over the social media posts by two members.

Scott Gallacher, who represents Irvine West, used a Twitter account to post offensive comments about MPs Philippa Whitford and Kirsty Blackman, as well as new Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman.

Many of the remarks attacked the appearance of the high profile politicians.

And Todd Ferguson, depute leader of the Tories in North Ayrshire, posted hateful comments about SNP councillor Joy Brahim, questioning her right to take a stance on Brexit and hold an elected position as she was born outside the UK.

Now all seven Tory members on the council have posted their final Tweets in a bid to avoid further controversy.

The move comes after probing by The National prompted apologies and deletions, with Ferguson deleting his account in response to our reporting.

In a statement confirming the unanimous decision, the group said: “The Conservative group of councillors on NAC condemns the use of Twitter by councillors from all parties who have used this and social media to attack other councillors.

“We accept our responsibility to support and observe the high standards of conduct which is expected of all councillors.

“We do as councillors strive to comply with the Councillors’ Code of Conduct published by the Standards Commission for Scotland.

“This provides that when performing duties as a councillor, a councillor must respect all other councillors, members of the public and all council employees and the role they play, treating them with courtesy at all times.

“If we have inadvertently failed to live up to this high standard we do apologise.”

Turning to rival councillors, it continued: “We have decided as a group to cease using Twitter and will not respond to any negative and derogatory postings from fellow councillors and in the interest of member relations would request that other members do likewise.

“Otherwise member relations will be irreparably damaged and impair the work of the council.”

Responding, Brahim, who represents Dalry and West Kilbride, said: “Xenophobia is unacceptable on and off twitter, unless you are in the Scottish Tory party where apparently this sort of thing is condoned by Ruth Davidson.

“It is embarrassing and quite frankly worrying that Tory councillors in North Ayrshire have had to put in place a self-imposed social media ban because they can’t trust themselves to behave appropriately and abstain from yet more offensive outbursts. These are elected officials we are talking about.

“Ruth Davidson clearly hasn’t got a grip of the intolerance and prejudice that is rife within the ranks of her own party – it’s becoming a running embarrassment.”

Gallacher’s posts – which included one branding Whitford a “jihadi” – were made using the account SGMK0, an acronym comprised of his initials and Mother Kilwinning 0, the name and number of the Masonic lodge he is involved with.

Prior to his election he suggested “shouty wimmin” should not appear on Question Time, asking: “Do none of them have a piece to make for their husbands to take to work tomorrow?”

He also described SNP supporters as “Natzis” and apologised to anyone who was “genuinely upset” after The National contacted him about the story.

Meanwhile, Ferguson also apologised in 2017 after questioning why Brahim “supported the break up of the UK, being Dutch”. He followed this up with a reference to Second World War operation Market Garden, in which Allied forces acted to liberate swathes of Holland from Nazi occupation.

In a subsequent apology, he said: “I sincerely apologise for a recent tweet of mine that may have caused offence. The tweet in question has since been deleted.”

However, this was followed by further criticism earlier this month, when he stated that Brahim is “not a citizen, but is happily pocketing two tax payer funded jobs via the SNP”.